‘Terminal’ is a strange experience and not in a way that is totally enjoyable. The film is based in and around a dingy train terminal where some unpleasant characters dwell. Two hitmen (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons), a depressed teacher (Simon Pegg) and a simple janitor (Mike Myers) skulk around the un-named city train terminal. At the terminal’s dirty cafe a mysterious waitress (Margot Robbie) involves herself into the men’s lives.
Director Vaughn Stein must be a big fan of Guy Ritchie’s early work because ‘Terminal’ reeks of ‘Lock Stock Smoking Barrels’ and particularly ‘Revolver’. The dialogue has that gangster twang that made Ritchie’s films so recognisable in the late nineties and early noughties, and sadly so ridiculed in the last decade. Somehow scripts like this no longer feel fresh, they feel dated and unimaginative. Just like ‘Revolver’, ‘Terminal’ is based in an unnamed city which seems to revolve around a dingy underworld full of scummy characters. It’s trying to be arty and different but it ends up feeling like an expensive student film. I mean its a very well made student film (one that loves neon lights) but it does feel a little amateur. Vaughn Stein is clearly a director with big ideas and has a strong eye for visuals. He has put in the hours being an assistant director to big feature films and good directors, but he has aimed too high with his first feature film. The script and some of the performances are real drawbacks.
It was nice to see Mike Myers back on the big screen, but his casting here is just bizarre. He is caked in latex and comes across as one of his characters from ‘Austin Powers’ or ‘The Love Guru’. Margot Robbie plays Annie who is central to the plot. Her British accent (I think it’s meant to be British) is very questionable, but maybe that’s the point. Robbie looks like she is having fun and she commits to the role. It is great that she is getting leading lady roles, but she can’t even save what on paper looked like a interesting character but on the screen it just doesn’t work. Dexter Fletcher (one of the nicest men in the biz) returns to his ‘Lock Stock’ roots and spends most of the run time bickering with Max Irons which is more annoying than entertaining.
Overall ‘Terminal’ is a strange film with a bizarre cast (Mike Myers!), it means well and aims very high but it just doesn’t all gel together. The shocks and twists can be seen from a mile away and the Guy Ritchie type script just feels dated. Overall a confident but flawed first film from Vaughn Stein but his second film must be a lot better.
Directed by: Vaughn Stein
Cast: Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, Mike Myers